Friday, May 17, 2002

Reds Notebook: It's Miller time

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MILWAUKEE — Give Corky Miller a chance and you get a No.1 catcher. Miller, who started the year in the minors, is catching three of the Reds' five starters.

        Miller's chance came when Kelly Stinnett went on the disabled list with a sore right elbow. Still, he was going to get maybe one start compared to five for Jason LaRue.

        “The way it worked out, we had a lot of day games after night games,” Miller said. “That gave me an opportunity. When you get an opportunity, you have to capitalize on it.”

        Miller did so by hitting. His batting average is .372 and his production numbers — two homers, 10 RBI — are better than LaRue's in fewer than half as many games.

        “I came out of spring feeling pretty good,” he said. “Then I was going really good at Louisville.”

        Miller's catching and his ability to handle pitchers are so good that if he hits .272, he'll be a No.1 catcher in the big leagues. His block/deke play in Thursday's game that saved the potential winning run was an example of that.

        But Miller knows his spot is tenuous. Stinnett is close to returning. It's doubtful the Reds would send Miller back to Louisville, but he does have options. And there is no easy solution, barring a trade.

        “That's their decision,” Miller said. “I'm not worried about it. If they do, I'm not going to be all ticked off. If it happens, it happens.”

        YOU'RE OUTTA HERE! Home plate umpire Doug Eddings ejected three people in three innings Thursday — all for arguing balls and strikes.

        Milwaukee's Richie Sexson went first. He argued, then pointed at Eddings. The point got the quick thumb.

        Brewers manager Jerry Royster went next for arguing after Sexson was tossed. Juan Encarnacion of the Reds went next. After he argued a called second strike, Eddings got in his face. Something Encarnacion said after swinging through strike three got him ejected.

        DUNN WALKER: Adam Dunn was walked intentionally Thursday for the third time in the four-game series. Overall, Dunn has walked nine times in his last seven games.

        “I've been coming up a lot with a runner on second and third and a righty pitching,” Dunn said. “So they walk me to get the matchup with Aaron (Boone). I don't mind walking. It's a little frustrating in those situations, but that's baseball.”

        MORE DUNN: Dunn's sacrifice bunt — the first of his career — after Austin Kearns' leadoff walk in the seventh was his call Thursday.

        “He did it on his own,” Bob Boone said. “I thought it was a good move. One run is pretty big in that game.”

        DOWN ON THE FARM: Ranier Olmedo went 2-for-3 in Double-A Chattanooga's 3-1 victory over Jacksonville to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Dustin Moseley, the Reds' second pick in the first round in 2000, pitched seven innings, allowing one run on three hits in Single-A Stockton's 3-2 win over Visalia. Moseley's 2.42 ERA is sixth in the California League.


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